Permissive parenting is a style in which parents sit back and allow their children to make their own decisions. This style of parenting is becoming increasingly popular because it is, frankly, an easier method for parents than setting firm rules and boundaries for their children. In a poll conducted by Time Magazine and CNN, 68 percent of American parents admitted that their children are “very or somewhat spoiled.”
Many parents defend this style of parenting by claiming that it bolsters independence in their kids. While this is true in some cases, permissive parenting can have many negative effects down the road.
Children with permissive parents tend to be viewed as “disrespectful and inconsiderate by their peers and other adults,” according to Laura Ramirez, author of award-winning parenting books. These kids are allowed to make their own choices, which, in most cases, are not always the best. Children need instruction, and they need boundaries.
“[People] come into this world as self-centered human beings. Without boundaries, they will run wild with no regard for others,” said Emmy Daniels, author of The Pros and Cons of Permissive Parenting.
Parents think that children view them as “cool” for allowing kids to make and break the rules as they please, but many children can actually feel unloved and neglected. When the parents seem unconcerned with what their kids are doing, the children may lash out to try to evoke a reaction. Staying out late, drinking and doing drugs are characteristics of many kids whose parents are indifferent to what they are doing.
Joni Amerson, a teacher at Leesville, said that she thinks permissive parenting is awful. “It’s terrible to give children permission to do whatever they want whenever they want to,” said Amerson. “My own children still have an 11:00 curfew, even on weekends. They’re at college now, but when they’re at my house, they need to be home by eleven.”
However, some children with permissive parents enjoy the feeling of freedom and responsibility.
Brittany Saleeby, sophomore, said that her parents trust her to do whatever she feels like doing. “I’m my own parent. I like feeling more freedom than normal and I set my own standards,” she said. Saleeby’s parents trust who she hangs out with and the decisions she makes without question.
Giving children this type of freedom, however, can make them lose respect for their parents. When the parents do not carry out threats of discipline or enforce rules, their kids start to deem them as weak. Eventually, children of permissive parents will not take anything that their parents tell them seriously, and will start to lose respect for authority in general. This happens because they have “gotten away” with so much in the past.
In fact, although Saleeby said that there is nothing bad about having permissive parents, “I wouldn’t use that style on my own kids,” she said. “My choices aren’t always the best.”